Jul 19, 2016

How to Hide A Chain-link Fence! Quick Fixes & Beautiful Plantings!

Chainlink Fence

Some may opt for a chain-link fence as cedar fences may be cost prohibitive or perhaps you inherited one with your home. Unfortunately, chainlink fences often inspire thoughts of jails and industrial factories. Fortunately, we have great solutions to hide your chain-link fence. These fixes are so good you will hardly know it’s there. Following these disguising tactics will hide the “elephant” in your landscape. Some of the options below focus on privacy and not design appeal, while others focus on both. No matter what your budget is you can have privacy! Read on to see our quick fixes and beautiful planting solutions.

Privacy Screens

Mesh Privacy Screen

If privacy is your main concern and design is less important, a privacy mesh screen may be a good solution for you. This utilitarian solution can be used temporarily for immediate coverage to keeping peering eyes from viewing your outdoor life. Mesh screen covers are easily applied and easily taken down; so when you are ready for an upgrade it can be a quick transition.

  • Privacy: 80-96% (depending on quality of mesh)
  • Design appeal: Poor
  • Cost: A home store cost for a 4' x 50' length is .89 plf (per linear foot). At fencescreen.com they start at .99 plf.
  • Durability: This a woven polypropylene which is UV resistant. Mesh privacy screens should last many years.

Click here to buy this privacy mesh screening.

Fence Slats

Fence slats are surprisingly expensive and the privacy rating is low. Slats may conjure images of a playground. However, the one benefit they offer is long-term durability-lasting decade after decade. We do not recommend this product unless you are looking for long-term durability with slightly above average privacy.

  • Privacy: 75%
  • Design appeal: Very poor
  • Cost: Per 50' of slats $373.50
  • Durability: Very good long-term durability.

Click here to buy these fence slats.

Reed Screens

Reed screens are woven together bamboo reeds. They are easily installed by simply rolling out the reed mats and attaching it to the fence by using zip-ties and wire. This solution is much more attractive than mesh or slats, but the downside is short-term durability; you may need to replace reed's every 1-2 years.

  • Privacy: 85%
  • Design appeal: Moderate (after the first year it begins to look poor)
  • Cost: Per 50' of reed $79.47
  • Durability: Poor. Lasts about 1-2 years.

Click here to buy reed rolls.

Bamboo Fencing

Bamboo fencing, is the most attractive option out of the previous 3. It is simple to install with zip ties or stainless steel wire. This fence disguise will give your landscape an asian inspired feel.

  • Privacy: 85%
  • Design appeal: Moderate
  • Cost: Per 50' of bamboo fencing is $540.62
  • Durability: Moderate. Lasts about 3-4 years.

Click here to buy bamboo fencing.

Wood Fencing

Standard fence boards can be installed by means of a u-bracket directly onto chainklink fencing. While natural wood obviously looks much better than any other fencing options, there are no conversion kits. This solution is the most labor intensive option. You will need to talk to people who have done it (if available) and get ready to watch some DIY video's on how to do this.

  • Privacy: 90%
  • Design appeal: High
  • Cost: Per 50' of wood slats is $278.18
  • Durability: Moderate-High. Lasts years if using cedar and a sealer

Click here to buy fencing boards.


Plant A Fast Growing Hedge

Planting a hedge is a great way to create 360° coverage of your chainlink fencing. We recommend a laurel hedge. They are very fast growers, which is a good thing if you have the space and don't mind routinely pruning this hedge (expect severe pruning's twice a year).

  • Privacy: 95%
  • Design appeal: High
  • Cost: Per 50' of panted hedge is approximately $491.00 (use 2 plants every 6')
  • Durability: High

Contact a local nursery for product availability and firm pricing\

Plant A Vine

Planting a vine is another great way to gain full coverage-front and back of your fence. Choose an evergreen vine, which will stay green year-round. We recommend passion flower, evergreen clematis, akebia, jasmine (only if you live in warmer Portland, Oregon area. East counties, such as Sandy do not have good climates for jasmine) and honeysuckle.

  • Privacy: 95%
  • Design appeal: High
  • Cost: Per 50' of planted vine $100.00
  • Durability: Moderate-High.**

Contact a local nursery for product availability and firm pricing

Plant A Tree Hedge

Planting a tree hedge is yet another fantastic way to hide your fence. In our experience the most hardy and inexpensive plant screen are arborvitae (emerald green variety). They grow very tall at an approximate 12-14 height. A wall of deep green creates a natural, organic feel to your landscape. Over time, as the arborvitae thicken, they will completely engulf the fence (this does not damage it in most cases).

  • Privacy: 95%
  • Design appeal: High
  • Cost: Per 50' tree plantings are approximately $675.00 (Note plant center-to-center 2')
  • Durability: High

Contact a local nursery for product availability and firm pricing

Plant A Landscape

Plants are the best way to hide a chainlink fence. It not only adds beauty but enhances the feel of your landscape. Before planting anything, consider designing something that not only hides chainlink fencing, but makes you completely forget it's there. In our design process for this purpose, we start with a base of an arborvitae hedge. We then choose plants which stair-step one another in height. For instance choose a shrub which grows at a 4 foot height (weigelas, wine-and roses or nandina). Then we choose lower growing shrubs (such as Mexican orange or azaleas). Next consider adding texture such as some grasses. Additionally, consider adding a few pennials such as hostas. Finally, add 1-2 specimen trees such as a dwarf magnolia or a bloodgood maple. Please keep in mind these are rough suggestions and the plants that will ultimately look the best depends on which Oregon city you live in as well as lightning conditions and drainage factors. We highly recommend hiring a landscape designer for this purpose as the process is involved.

  • Privacy: 95%
  • Design appeal: High
  • Cost: Varies based upon plants used and size of planting bed square footage
  • Durability: Moderate-High

Contact a local nursery for product availability and firm pricing[

Need help covering up your fence? Give us a call.
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Erica Mooney
Email Erica Mooney

Erica is an avid lover of the outdoors, and transformed that love into a partnership running Valley West with Ryan 2012.

landscape tips, Landscape Design, DIY

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